The views from the charthouse of the USS Midway (CVB/CVA/CV-41)—if you were lucky enough to be standing near a porthole—were spectacular. Facing toward the city, you could see new skyscrapers could be seen rising under the booms of gantry cranes. Down the flight deck, past the visitors milling about and the two officer retirement ceremonies, the USNS Waters (T-AGS-45) belched out smoke as she got underway from bustling North Island while the huge transfer dock USNS John Glenn (T-ESD-2) performed a delicate ballet with a tugboat to maneuver past the port security barriers and into her berth.
But all this was all lost on the Quebecer in one tour group. Deep in thought, focused entirely on the plotting and sighting equipment laid out in front of him, he couldn’t make himself understood. The tour guide, pointing to the plot showing the Midway leaving Yokosuka, explained how sightings would be made using sextants of prominent landmarks as she moved her way down the channel and out to sea.
“Sextant, c’est ce qu’on appelle!”